Regional variations in the distribution of small intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes in alymphoplasia (aly/aly) mice and heterozygous (aly/+) mice

Immunol Invest. 2001 Nov;30(4):303-12. doi: 10.1081/imm-100108165.


Regional variations in intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs) in the small intestine were examined in alymphoplasia mutant (aly/aly) mice, which are characterized by the systemic absence of lymph nodes and Peyer's patches, and heterozygous (aly/+) mice. The small intestines were taken from 10 to 12-week-old mice and divided equally into 3 parts (the proximal, middle and distal parts). IELs were isolated from each part of the intestine and analyzed with a flow cytometer. The number of IELs in the distal part was significantly fewer in aly/aly mice compared with aly/+ mice, although the total number of small intestinal IELs were comparable between them. As to the IELs subsets, regional variations in alphabeta T cells and gammadelta T cells were observed in aly/+ mice, but they disappeared in aly/aly mice. However, regional variations in composition of alphabeta T cell subsets were similarly observed in both aly/aly mice and aly/+ mice. This indicates that, although not essential, mesenteric lymph nodes (MLN) and/or Peyer's patches may modify the regional variations in IELs.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / cytology*
  • Female
  • Heterozygote
  • Intestinal Mucosa / cytology
  • Intestine, Small / cytology*
  • Lymph Nodes / abnormalities
  • Lymph Nodes / immunology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Mutant Strains
  • Peyer's Patches / abnormalities
  • Peyer's Patches / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / cytology*